Krzyminska also noted the film's elements of gothic horror and fairy tales, as well as its use of symbolic imagery. Chemical and biological changes are tumultuous enough. Keith Allison is a writer and pop culture historian living in New York. Sit back and let the cinematography of Jan Curík work its painterly spell. When we do not understand them, we condemn them. After she's eventually banished from her village, the girl makes a pact with the devil to gain magical ability and take revenge. Barrandov Studios, Prague, Czech Republic. Released in 1970 and couched in the harmless looking vestments of a fairy tale, Valerie a týden divu (Valerie and Her Week of Wonders) is an allegorical Czech fantasy film which, on the surface, is about a teenage girl trying to get a decent night’s sleep. Valerie’s fairytale trappings were the sign pointing the wrong direction that sent Soviet tanks down the wrong road. Their village is, that week, playing host to both a company of actors and a group of missionaries, one of whom is Grandmother’s old flame, a predatory priest. If the nature of those around Valerie changes abruptly and without explanation, it is not just because we are dreaming; it is because Valerie is trying to make sense of things that seem to have very little rhyme or reason. But should one want to divine deeper meaning, it is there so long as one abandons the need for traditional story structure. Women are blamed for the weaknesses of men, for the shortcomings of institutions. © Copyright 2020, Diabolique Magazine. Krumbachová was another of the luminaries of the Czech new wave, writing some of the period’s best and most forward-thinking films, including Daisies, Fruit of Paradise (Ovoce stromu rajských jíme), the harrowing witch trial film Witchhammer (Kladivo na carodejnice), and Valerie and Her Week of Wonders. Author: drfreex, […] Checkpoint Telstar — The Vampire Beast Craves Blood Micro-Brewed Reviews — The Vampires (1961) The Terrible Claw Reviews — The Vampire Lovers Yes I Know — Valerie and Her Week of Wonders […]. Films about sexual awakening are, by their nature, tricky. ByNWR Is Here!” An Interview With Jimmy McDonough — Biographer of Andy Milligan and Co-Conspirator of Nicolas Winding Refn, Stories from the Trenches: Adventures in Making High Octane Hollywood Movies with Cannon Veteran Sam Firstenberg, The Brood, by Stephen R. Bissette (Midnight Movie Monographs: Electric Dreamhouse, 2020), Mary: The Graphic Adventures of Brea Grant, The Dripping, Psychedelic Horror of Noel Freibert’s Graphic Novel ‘Old Ground’, ‘Batman: Damned’ Review: Hell Comes For Bruce Wayne, Review: Jane is a Worthy Modern Day Retelling of Charlotte Brontë’s Classic Tale. Children are usually poorly prepared for this jarring transformation, which is why adolescence is such a difficult time. I still have my laserdisc of her shorts. The bride and Valerie find temporary solace from the world when they are with one another. Referencing Matthew Lewis's The Monk, Marquis de Sade's Justine, K. H. Macha's May, F. W. Murnau's film Nosferatu, Nezval employs the language of the pulp serial novel to construct a lyrical, menacing dream of sexual awakening involving a vampire with an insatiable appetite for chicken blood, changelings, lecherous priests, a malicious grandmother, and an androgynous merging of brother with sister.In his Foreword Nezval states: "I wrote this novel out of a love of the mystique in those ancient tales, superstitions and romances, printed in Gothic script, which used to flit before my eyes and declined to convey to me their content." [6] Robert Nezval, son of the author of the novel Vítězslav Nezval, appears in the film as a boy with a drum. Their father dies, leaving most of his property to Klara. It is a testament to the determination of the Czech people to be true to their own character no matter the attempts to force upon them some external system of behavior fundamentally at odds with their own. ", "Sexual Horror in 'Valerie and Her Week of Wonders", "Czech horror: Jaromil Jireš's Valerie a týden divů (Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, 1970)", "Valerie and Her Week of Wonders - Finders Keepers", "Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970) - Rotten Tomatoes", "Tom, Jerry and 'Valerie and Her Week of Wonders': Cat, Mouse and Head Trip", "Transgression, transformation and titillation", Comparison between DVD and Blu-ray releases,, Czechoslovak avant-garde and experimental films, Articles to be expanded from October 2015, Articles to be expanded from November 2016, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 29 October 2020, at 22:55. Also, one must portray sexuality without lapsing into the realm of the leering. Valerie meets Hedvika, sick from Elsa's bite and depressed about her marriage. She says she enjoyed the whole filming experience, describing it as being like a special summer holiday. Few films come to mind that deal with such themes so successfully and poetically. Another film known to be directly inspired by Valerie is Neil Jordan’s The Company of Wolves (1984). The 1970 film version is considered one of the outstanding achievements of Czech new-wave cinema. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends.